Airmar WeatherStation

Airmar weatherstation_windvaneWriting the entry below I realized that there doesn’t seem to be a picture of the sailboat WeatherStation model on the Web, and there should be! Astute observers will note that a French company, LCJ Capteurs, has offered a CV3F ultrasonic wind sensor for some time. In fact, Airmar licensed this solid-state design, and then reportedly improved it—adding a little heater to protect against extreme ice/snow interference and an inclinometer to correct for heeling errors. The developers at Airmar also threw in a fluxgate compass for true wind direction calculation, and even an LED lit Windex indicator for sailors who like to sometimes look aloft instead of at a screen (and/or like having a non electronic back up). The WeatherStation, which will cost about $1,000, can also sense air temperature, barometric pressure, and more, and can supposedly collect some history on its own. The intriguing device manages to squeeze all this info into one cable and the NMEA 0183 protocol, but a coming NMEA 2000 model will be better at data distribution. No instrument or display manufacturer has yet announced a product that will make the most of this sensor, but no doubt several are working on it. Airmar has not posted any product specs on its site yet, or I couldn’t find it!

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

7 Responses

  1. Patrick says:

    So, what is the appeal here? Is there a major benfit to using these as opposed to the masthead wind meter?

  2. Ben says:

    Greater accuracy, more information (baro, temp, etc.), and no moving parts to break in heavy weather (or at the boat yard).

  3. Bob says:

    Could this be the missing part that Furuno needs to complete their system? They have all that you need, except a wind instrument to work on the RD30’s.

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Gold Star for Bob! As I understand it, Furuno will likely be the first to offer full display of all the WeatherStation’s data, on the RD30.

  5. Bill says:

    Too much money for the added benefit. Putting barometric pressure at the mast head makes it more complicated and more expensive. It is already on my watch. Who cares? Inclinometer to correct healing angle is good. Most current wind speed direction systems appear to need a better angle measurement system. The resolution on some scales looks like 5 degrees. I want to see (or know about) a change aloft before I feel it on the water. With course scales or systems that significantly lag real time it is a waste of money. I will just keep looking at my Windex thank you. Don’t designers ever get input from racers??? Dahhhhh.

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    As for sailing without instruments, I used to feel like you until the early ’80s when I got to run a fin keel C&C 40 with a tall rig and rod rigging. It would sail in glassy flat conditions, wicked fun, but you needed the dials. As for designers getting input, that’s just total nonsense. The marine electronics industry is full of racers, cruisers, fishermen, etc and most companies are pretty good at listening to customers too!

  7. GPSNavX says:

    Where do I buy one of these Airmar Weather Stations? I would like to integrate into GPSNavX.

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